The pilot of the helicopter which crashed in central London had thousands of hours of flying experience including for films such as Die Another Day and Saving Private Ryan.
Pete Barnes, who died when the helicopter he was flying hit a crane on a high building and crashed onto a street in Vauxhall, had amassed around 9,000 hours of flying time, including 3,500 hours on the type of craft he was piloting today.
A racing driver has paid tribute on Twitter to the Midlands Air Ambulance pilot killed this morning when the helicopter he was flying crashed into a London crane.
Jolyon Palmer who competes in the Formula One feeder GP2 series said Mr Barnes saved his life in 2007.
The racing driver tweeted: Pete Barnes helped save my life in 2007 after I had a serious quad bike accident. Extremely sad news today."
Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan says she "heard an almighty bang" and "saw clouds of thick black smoke" as the helicopter crashed into a crane in South London this morning.
The MP was walking towards Vauxhall tube station, when the accident happened.
"Ms Morgan says she "saw clouds and clouds of thick black smoke billowing from the ground" and that initial thoughts were that a bomb had exploded."
Midlands Air Ambulance pilot Pete Barnes who was killed this morning when the helicopter he was flying struck a London crane had a 'flying career' spanning 18 years.
Flying Air Ambulances for Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland he had amassed 9,000 hours of flying time which included 3,500 hours on the type of helicopter he was flying today.
His career included work on high-profile film projects such as TV programmes and films including the James Bond film Die Another Day.
On Pete Barnes' Linked In page, a social media site, it states that he attended the University of Derby and went to school in Rutland.
The pilot who died today after the helicopter he was flying crashed in London was named by sources as Pete Barnes, reports the Press Association.
Very sad to hear tragic news of death of air ambulance pilot Pete Barnes, he made many visits to our heli-pad at Royal Derby Hospital
Eyewitness Steve Webster saw the crash. He thought the helicopter was in difficulties before it hit the crane.
The Air Ambulance have paid tribute to the Midlands pilot killed this morning in London when the helicopter he was flying struck a crane.
The Air Ambulance Chief Executive Andy Williamson said:
“We are deeply saddened to hear the news that Pete Barnes was killed in the helicopter accident in London this morning .
“Pete had worked with us for many years and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and with all the families affected by this tragedy.”